Good Vibes Only

Life is so good!

I’ve had a perma grin since getting these gnarly braces on.  I can’t wait to have a good smile  Image result for smile emoji

The purpose of me writing today is to create a desire list.  I saw this idea on facebook from a post from Gabby Bernstein, author of The Universe Has Your Back, one of my favorite books.  I figure a desire list fits in nicely with some other things I wanted to do this weekend.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and talking..   I took off Thursday to see the alternative doctor & then got my braces on Thursday night.  I was so excited to go to work on Friday, show my braces and tell all my friends about my doctor visit.  Many of these work friends have known me for several years and have seen me through good times and bad, health wise. They’ve seen me in my most debilitating state.  I’m pretty sure my work peeps have never seen me as animated as I was yesterday.  They are intrigued!  All I can say is that if Dr. Tent fixes me, he is going to have A LOT of new clients!

If? No. There are no ifs.  When I was 18 an old veterinarian that I worked for gave me a copy of a book he wrote called, The Power of Positivity.  It took me over 20 years, but I ended up reading it after I turned 40.  Positivity is powerful and I was meant to get that book.  Just like I was meant to see the old rheumatologist who told me I have a Parvo virus.  I thought he was a real quack but it gives me even more motivation now to get these viruses out of my system.  I also believe that I was meant to encounter that older gentleman at the Refuge Recovery meeting who told me he meditates his pain away.  I’m a firm believer that we encounter certain people totally on purpose.

I HAVE to think positive and not even entertain the idea that this will not work.  I am 100% submerged in it and compliant.  This weekend I’m printing mantras and positive messages about my health and recovery and hanging them up around the house.  I’ve started meditating with a mantra to rid this body of the infection and viruses.  I’m also going to make a desire list.

So here it is:

My Desire List  —  November 2018

  1. Healed feet and joints
  2. Feeling of well being (like pink cloud)
  3. Decreased anxiety and depression
  4. Increase sleep
  5. More whole foods, less processed foods
  6. Alcohol free living, working the steps
  7. Better focus
  8. To finish one of my books
  9. Regular exercise
  10. To run again
  11. Start organizing and improving the house
  12. Physical strength
  13. To spend more quality time with family and friends
  14. Organize and purge my classroom
  15. Write more
  16. Read more
  17. Sing more
  18. Go to more concerts/shows
  19. More date nights with hubs and kids
  20. More yoga
  21. More meditation
  22. Visit the Dharma temple
  23. Get of prescription meds
  24. Run a race
  25. Hug more

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Functional Medicine and My Autoimmune Disease

I was diagnosed with both Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2014.  My problems started in the fall of 2013– I would get random pains in my joints and my left foot was swollen and painful, even though I hadn’t injured it.  I was eventually referred to my current rheumatologist, Parveen Qazi.  Dr. Qazi is in high demand and it would take 3 months to get an appointment with her- which was March 2014.

It was January and my symptoms were getting worse.  I found another rheumatologist who could get me in right away.  He was very old and told me that he thinks I have a parvo virus, not rheumatoid arthritis, and that was causing my symptoms.  I had a sausage finger and he injected my hand with a painful steroid that never did help.  I kept my appointment with Dr. Qazi but never went back to the old doctor.

My visit with Dr. Qazi was way more intense.  She took one look at my sausage finger (yes, I STILL had it even months later) and told me I have Psoriatic Arthritis and that the sausage finger was a classic symptom.  She did bloodwork and took xrays of all my joints.  She started me on a medication called Methotrexate and gave me several brochures on different medications, all with possible serious side effects.  I’ve been following up with her every few months since then & have been happy with her treatment.

My visit back in May was stellar.  I had been alcohol free for about 3 months and feeling amazing.  Most days would begin with a 2-3 mile walk/run and end with a 8-15 mile bike ride.  She asked me about all of my previous ailments, most of which I forgot that I even had.  I felt SO good, but do have to say that I had been taking Humira for a few years (to quiet down my immune system), so my health really wasn’t perfect, but it was good with the Humira bandaid.

Fast forward to July and for some reason my health fell apart. I have no idea why.  I was still not drinking and wasn’t working so my stress level was low.  It started with random pains that would make me scream out when I turned over at night and my foot got bad again, but this time it was my right foot. It is now November and things have progressively gotten worse.  Additionally, I’m taking twice the amount of Humira and have added prednisone to my daily regimen.

I’ve been doing a lot of research and looking at alternative ways to treat autoimmune diseases.  I was convinced that I had leaky gut and that was causing my inflammation.  I tried an elimination diet but failed during week 3 because I was so painful, tired and gagging on all of my meals.  I wanted to continue looking at fixing my gut, but thought I needed guidance from a professional.

I found a reputable chiropractor who treats all sorts of things and is world renown.  Luckily he had a cancellation for today and I was able to swipe that appointment right up. This was excellent, I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to get in until the new year.  I was excited but also nervous.  By now, I’ve had so many bad experiences with doctors, I really don’t trust them generally.  What if he tells me nonsense?  What if he just tries to sell me a bunch of supplements?  What if this is a waste of my time?

I’m happy to report that after my appointment I am feeling REALLY positive– for the first time in a long time (at least pertaining to my health).

I had been watching his lectures, so when he popped into my room while reviewing my record it was weird- like he was a celebrity.  He looked at my hands first and asked me many questions.  I told no lies.

I told him that I’m an alcoholic.  THIS.

You see, when I go to a doctor for help, I am honest and open.  This isn’t the first doctor that I’ve said this to, but this is the 1st doctor who did not wash it down the drain with barely an acknowledgement.  It is the most helpless feeling in the entire world to open yourself up like that to someone who you think may be able to help you but they don’t.

This is how our conversation went:

Me: “Oh, and I’m an alcoholic.  I have periods of sobriety- but really I have no idea how much or little alcohol contributes to my health problems.”

Dr: “Who are you, your mom or your dad?”

Me: “Ummmm, both?”

Dr: “Who’s brain do you have?  Your mom’s or your dad’s?”

Me: “My mom.”

Dr: “It won’t stop will it?  It won’t shut up.  You drink to shut off your brain.  I can see it in your eyes, just like Catherine Zeta Jones. Just like my dad and my uncle Larry.  The alcohol gene skipped me, but my dad and uncle have it.”

Hmmmmmmm… my mom had a very busy mind and so do I.  This guy was spot on. He thanked me at least twice throughout the visit for being honest with him and telling him about my addiction.  SO MUCH more than I ever got from the other doctors.

Overall, I was very happy with my visit.  I was painful when he pushed behind my knees so he said that’s where the infection is and it’s going straight to my feet.  He suspects that I have strep and staff throughout my body and also a Parvo virus that moves around and causes problems in different places (remember the old rheumatologist…..).

He says that he’s going to cure me and that I’m quite complicated and will be excited for him to fix me.  I think he’s going to turn me into a case study when it’s all said and done!

He even gave me something to turn off my brain.  He said that if I didn’t tell my husband, he would guarantee that hubby would notice it on his own in 7-14 days.  He said that my eyes will look more relaxed, not like they look now– which is like I’m about to be murdered.

Sooo..

This is my regimen:

I’m going back for a recheck in 2 weeks.  He thinks I’ll be cured in about 8 weeks.  I will be absolutely floored if this works!!  GOOD, positive thoughts ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Good Energy

I hit what felt like “rock bottom” two nights ago.  I didn’t go to jail– or screw up my marriage– but I was at an all time low– feeling completely helpless, hopeless and just plain sad.  This was Sunday and I had spent the whole day trying not to burst into tears over my foot and the uncertainties that have come with it.

I was on the floor playing Cribbage with the hubs trying not to think about my throbbing foot and the full day training I had to lead the following day.  I started to worry about whether or not it was infected– after all, I am on a medicine that can make it hard to fight infections.  What if I woke up and it was worse?  What if I can’t walk?  What if I have to cancel the back-to-back trainings I had to teach?  THIS felt like rock bottom.  Having a debilitating condition that was threatening my livelihood was a new low and the uncertainty was extremely bothersome to me.  But I kept it all in, because otherwise I would lose it completely.

As I tried to focus on the game, I remembered the power of positivity.  Here I was thinking negative thoughts and scenarios in my head.  I decided right then and there, NO more.  I was going to think positive.  I spoke to the Universe.  I spoke to God.  I spoke to anyone who would listen.  I wished and thought the pain away & I told myself how awesome my presentations would be.  I was going to rock it!  I went to bed Sunday night feeling hopeful.

Monday was terrific.  I woke up with a lot less pain in my foot, which was a huge relief.  My colleague and I rocked our training.  AND, I was able to get an appointment with that world renowned functional medicine doctor who I’ve been playing phone tag with.  They had a cancellation so I was able to get in THIS week!

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Today, Tuesday, has also been a great day so far.  My colleague and I ROCKED our other presentation this morning (which was the more nerve racking one!).  As soon as the presentations were over, the power went out.  The afternoon was supposed to be for us to stay and do records, but the power stayed out, so now I’m at home doing my report cards fireside ❤

So, yay!!  Done with the presentations and hope that things will get better.  I have to go to the foot doctor in a little bit for a recheck.  I’m not so frightened now because my foot feels a lot better.  Even if he wants to cast it, at least I can see that other doctor before I make a decision and feel more confident about that decision.

I NEED to stay positive to keep this momentum going ❤ ❤ ❤

Turbulent Cycle

November 3, 2018

Sometimes it truly takes everything coming to a head to gain the momentum for real change.  I am at that point.

I’ve felt an enormous amount of stress this week from a variety of factors.

#1 Offender: My job.  Work is usually low stress for me.  I usually don’t have a ton of work to bring home, except maybe during times that deadlines are looming.  This weekend is an exception.  I have to teach a training all day Monday to our new special education teachers, on a curriculum that we teach to struggling readers.  On Tuesday, I’m presenting to other teachers in the district (topic is teaching syllabication and using that to help struggling readers).  I’m teaching both with my old mentor, but it’s still stressful.  I want to do a good job and can’t stop thinking of ways that we can make it better.

On top of this, I have an ugly situation I’m dealing with at school.  It’s involving one of my students, who #1 I am worried about depression and #2 she is increasingly NOT able to get along with most of the other 5th graders and we’ve been dealing with conflicts this entire school year.  Her mom is hard to reach, and I finally heard from her via email yesterday and my request for a meeting was denied due to her crazy work hours.  I need to speak with her on the phone or in person, but with these trainings I won’t be at school until Tuesday afternoon.

Student growth goals were due last week and report cards are due next week and I haven’t started any of it.

All. Of. This. Work. Stuff.

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#2 Offender: My health.  This stress is easily pushed to the side of my brain.  In fact, I’ve been pushing it to the side for several weeks now and trying not to overthink.  I have a large boot on my foot that I have to keep on even when I’m sleeping.  It’s been almost two weeks and my foot was feeling a lot better, but I think I overdid it on Halloween and it’s been painful yesterday and today.  Waking-up-throbbing painful.  I’m worried because my recheck in on Monday.  The foot doctor (and his entire staff) is a giant douche bag who I don’t trust.  He said if it wasn’t better he would need to put a real cast on it. I’m not convinced the pain and swelling is from fractors, I think it’s just my RA flaring.  So, if he wants to do a cast I’ll probably argue with him.  I need to find another foot doctor.  I just don’t know how my appointment is going to go, what he is going to say and if I’m going to listen to him, argue with him, or just walk out.   I’m going to try to rest it this weekend and hoping that it starts to feel better.  I’ve spent a good part of this week feeling like I was 41 going on 81 and feeling the need to have a major meltdown over it, but pushing that all aside.

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#3 Offender: Toxins.  I’m still allowing them into my life.  I know that I need to clean up and detoxify myself.  It’s all so very overwhelming.  I DID find a doctor who is local but well known throughout the nation.  He will look at my ailments and treat me with a holistic approach.  The catch is that I don’t know how quickly I can get in to see him.  The person who takes new patients is only there a couple of days a week and I’ve been playing phone tag with her since last week.  I’m hoping I can get in before the new year.  I probably will start the AIP diet again soon, possibly with some variations (may start with Whole 30 or Paleo, which are slightly less restrictive).

Alcohol is still an issue, but I know I have to get it out of my life.  I haven’t drank since Halloween and am really enjoying this sober weekend.  I’m trying to focus constantly on the positives of being sober vs. the miseries of drinking– sobriety is clearly a better choice for me– it’s just a matter of sticking to it especially during the times that my life is feeling out of control.

That’s all I have.  I’ve wanted to write since the last post, but it is hard to figure out what to say when your life feels like it is going around in an endless circle.  I am hopeful that I can get myself together and will find the right people who can help me.  God is good and He will watch over me ❤

Life and My Stinkin’ Thinkin’

My life is slowly spiraling out of control.  I am at ease with it.  I know that I have to make some big changes, I’m just not ready yet.

I quit the AIP diet in the third week.  It was a TOUGH week.  All my meals were tasting so gross, I was choking them down, I was SO tired and felt achy like having the flu and the pain along with a SH**load of swelling returned to my foot.  I’m sure I was detoxing, and probably would be feeling so much better if I had stuck with it, but I’ve been drinking and eating garbage since the Wednesday of that 3rd week.

I’m now taking twice the amount of Humira and am on a low dose of pred everyday.  I’m not happy about having to increase meds.  I had an MRI on my feet and just found out that I have several microfractures and will have to see a foot doctor.

I don’t know how I’m going to get myself under control.  I’ve thought about getting a life coach and/or finding a good functional doctor who can help guide me.

I was doing really good on the AIP diet and had a good mindset.  I think if I mentally prepare better and take care of my needs better, I can do it.  Plus next time I’ll know to expect a hard detox, even a few weeks in.  That was the tough part because weeks 1 & 2 were easy and I felt really good.  By the 3rd week the amount of effort it took to prepare meals was starting to wear on me and then BOOM when everyday I was feeling worse, I just threw in the towel.  It didn’t help that the food was tasting gross.  Better planning and knowing those expectations will help me next time.

Trying to be grateful but sometimes it is HARD.  I am tired of thinking & feeling impaired. I know life will get better, I just don’t know when ❤

Pity Party: Time for a Gratuity List

Honestly, I have been SO crabby the past 2 days I can’t even stand myself! I could not sleep well on Sunday so I was so tired all day Monday. Slept very well last night (Monday) but I’m drinking only decaf tea & was just groggy & not well all day. Also woke up with sore feet (yes plural & that sucks because usually it’s just 1 foot).

I’m SO tired of the meals I’m eating & am hangry most of the time. And to top it off I bought f’in diatomaceous earth to start ingesting to help this inflammation. I’m. Going. To. Eat. Fossilized. Algae. 😱😱😱. PLEASE, someone call me a WAAAAAMBULANCE!!!

Ok my point of posting this is that I am not acting grateful & need to start. Making a gratuity list. #1 on my list is DAY 17 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. Ugh— can’t wait for this funk to pass!!!!! 🤦🏽‍♀️

I’m Thankful Today

  1. Day 17 of sobriety
  2. Day 16 of elimination diet
  3. I don’t have a life threatening illness
  4. None of my immediate family have a life threatening illness
  5. Hubby treats me well and works hard and is a great father
  6. Kids are doing well in school
  7. I’ve lost weight and fit into my clothes better
  8. Thankful for having enough money to buy supplements that could help my RA
  9. My manicure still looks nice
  10. I like my job
  11. I like my coworkers
  12. My furbabies give me so much love
  13. Being able to get braces next month
  14. Being able to get all of the problems my teeth have fixed
  15. Selling (and buying 🙂 ) Avon again
  16. Our new fireplaces
  17. Being able to have an area to set up for meditation/yoga
  18. Good friends who are always there for me (Debbie)
  19. Chai tea lattes
  20. Tigernut butter

That’s all I have right now.  PHEW– already I feel lighter and happier!  ❤

 

 

The Price of Over Indulgence

Hi everyone!  I haven’t written in forever.  This won’t be a long post– I just wanted to check in quickly.

Things have been good here.  As you probably know from my past posts, my Rheumatoid Arthritis returned with a vengeance in July.  I had many pains and swelling.  I was taking Humira every 2 weeks which controlled the disease up until this point.  I was so painful I ended up going on Methylprednisolone about 5 times since July.  This is a 6 day course of the steroid and while it made my aches and pains go away, it made me gain weight and feel puffy.  By the time I returned from work I felt awful, bloated and huge.  The brain fog was awful.

I knew that I had to do something because being on steroids all the time was not an option.  I had the elimination diet in the back of my mind because that worked for me before.  I was only on it for a few weeks and then my mom suddenly died.  After that summer I was never able to get back on track with it.  It can be hard to stick with.  You pretty much have to make everything from scratch and use pure and organic ingredients.

I was determined this time.

I think I wanted to prove to myself that regardless of life’s circumstances, I could do this successfully, SO I began the diet on a Monday after the weekend of our triathlon– in which we would be out of town for.  I shopped at 2 different stores to get everything I needed on Saturday morning before heading up to Bay City.  We hung out with our friends (we were staying the night at their house because they live about 10 minutes from the race) until late Saturday night.  On Sunday we got up early and finished the triathlon in about 3 hours– which was my goal.  My foot was ok because I was on steroids (last dose was that Saturday).

On a side note, which I don’t want to dwell on, the triathlon was AWESOME!  I was most worried about the canoeing portion as my upper body isn’t as strong and if the wind was strong or we were going against a strong current, I knew it would be very hard.  But I was able to paddle the entire time and we were not last 🙂  The bike part was also awesome and scenic, riding on closed roads over the bridge of the large river and through the little town.  The 5K was also very beautiful and scenic.  Hubby didn’t bring two pairs of shoes and was getting blisters from his shoes being wet from canoeing, and my foot was slightly painful- so we walked briskly the whole time.  The trail went right next to the river and on some boardwalks over the river.  Such a great place to be!  It was a great day and I definitely want to do another one sometime!

By the time we got home on Sunday it was like 4 or 5.  I spent the next several hours meal prepping for the week- something I knew would be crucial to the success of this diet.  I did have a successful week and thinking back, if I can do this after that crazy weekend then there is no excuse for me not to keep it up.

Tomorrow it will have been two weeks since starting.  My foot feels like it did when I was on steroids (minimal pain and I can wear most of my shoes, vs before when I could only wear flip flops).   I’m not completely pain free and am still pretty fatigued, but I’m hopeful that as my body continues to heal I will begin to feel better.  I never thought that  I could go this long without sugar and bread.

The diet definitely has its challenges.  For example, yesterday was a very busy Saturday.  We had a late lunch, then we were out and about and didn’t get home until around 8:00 pm.  We were all starving, but resisted the urge to stop for fast food on the way home.  I put in a whole chicken in the Instapot with some carrots, steamed some green beans and we had a late dinner but at least it was healthy!  Success 🙂

So.. that’s my story.  No alcohol– but that’s on the back burner for now.  I do want to get back to the steps and my recovery– but taking it one day at a time ❤

Labor Day 2018

Last year on this long weekend I was in the middle of a relapse.  I had a last hurrah weekend at the cottage & vaguely remembering day drinking before having to pack up & go home (I was not driving). 

Betsy has been whispering in my ear, but I’ve been able to squash her stupid A$$ conniving thoughts.  Happy to say that I’m going to bed sober.  It is an important night, it is the first day of school for students tomorrow— a big day for many.  

The whole weekend was low key but fabulous.  We spent a lot of time in the pool & with each other.  Hubby & oldest had a scout outing on Saturday, so my youngest & I had a date night & then got some school supply shopping done.  

On Sunday hubby & I had a date day.  We found a Segway tour rental nearby & was super excited to go, but it ended up being closed for the holiday weekend.  So we went to Walmart (I had to get clothes pins & spray paint for a school project— plus WHO wouldn’t want to spend time on a date at the Walmart?? 🤷🏼‍♀️) and then to a Japanese restaurant that had delicious sushi.  

Today I rode my bike for the first time in about a month.  We rode over 10 Miles in the hot sun. It was pure bliss.  This is what drinking takes from me, this & so much more!  We came home, swam, ate subs outside for lunch and then worked around the house & got the kids ready for tomorrow.  It was the perfect day really.  

I learned a valuable lesson from my last relapse. It is much easier to stay sober than to become sober. This last time I found it nearly impossible to stop. I would get 2 days & then drink over & over again.  

Today is day 6.  I am so grateful to be sober. I will remain grateful for every sober day ❤

Summer Reflections

Summer 2018 is coming to a close!  Well, technically, we have about a month left of summer, but summer vacation is almost history.  Today is Friday and I go back to work on Tuesday.  I was at school last week for a meeting and most teachers are already hard at work setting up their classrooms.  Most of the prep work that I need to do I can do from home, such as sending out IEPs at glance and trying to get my schedule set up– so I typically don’t go in until I’m required to.

The summer of ’18 was one of my favorites yet.  Normally over the summer there are many times that I am bored, lonely and get depressed.  Depressed– as in– barely having enough energy for a shower and being in a general funk for days.  I’m happy to say that I didn’t go through that this summer.  The reason, I’m pretty sure, is both external and internal.

I’ve made a ton of growth internally over the past several months and years.  By internally, I guess I mean mentally and spiritually.  I used to think that everyone was mad at me or didn’t like me– and I don’t know why I spent so much energy worrying about all of that.  I’m not sure when or how this changed, probably due to the self help books that I read, but I no longer worry about other people.  I’m sure this has helped me to not feel depressed and has helped me at times when I’m alone not feel so lonely.

Externally, the summer was bustling and busy, with little time to be feeling down.  Cousins and the kids’ friends were over constantly, and a lot of time was spent with family and friends in both July and August.

There was that terrible situation towards the end of July when my mother and father-in-law had to take their 3 grandkids.  Since then, I’ve gotten my dose of little ones! My own kids are older and it is nice to have smaller kids to hang out with.  We’ve taken them to the park, the cider mill, swimming and other fun things.  Also, my niece is going into kindergarten and is academically behind so I’ve been tutoring her for the past few weeks.  After our tutoring session, we make time to do something fun like taking the dog for a walk or baking muffins.  It’s been such a blessing to have that time with her.

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Fun at the cider mill– my niece and my oldest 
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Spending time with little ones is good for the heart and soul

It sounds like my sister in law might get custody back in a couple of months.  I can’t say that I feel good about it or support it.  I’m really anxious and scared about it, but that’s a story for another day.  For now they are happy and safe and I have enjoyed building a relationship with them.

Here are some summer highlights:

  • I learned how to use the weedwacker
  • I got all my teeth problems fixed and have an appointment set up for an orthodontist consultation (I’ve been putting this all off for YEARS)
  • I rode 154 miles on my bike during the month of June (my goal was 150)
  • Paid off my smaller private student loan and faced my large federal loan after a decade of avoiding it
  • Learned how to make falafel
  • Read, read, read!  Read some great books for fun and also some spiritual books– my favorite being The Four Agreements.
  • Started meditating daily
  • Started the summer with a strong streak of sobriety– recent relapse has taught me some good life lessons (story for another day)
  • Started seriously working the steps
  • Had some spiritual realizations which have provided me with internal calmness and clarity– I am ecstatic to be able to pick up on signs and messages
  • Got iron infusions and am no longer anemic
  • Planted a garden which has provided me with some delicious fresh peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and squash

Yes, this summer has been a great one!  Today is going to be another fantastic day.  I have a lunch date with a good friend from work and then I’m getting my hair done.  I still need to get some new work clothes, get my nails done, go school clothes shopping with my youngest and schedule an appointment to get new contact lens– all in good time.

 

Stuck in this Relapse

This is what I wrote shortly after my last relapse 7/28/18:

The good news is that after drinking several days this past week, I am so incredibly excited to get back on track.  There is so much misery to active addiction– physically, mentally, spiritually.  I miss the AF me!  I cannot wait to get back to being physically active, strengthening my spiritual practices and living with that feeling of peace that comes from being substance free.  I’ve proven that I can do it and be happy and free ❤

It’s about 3 weeks later and I’m still not back on track.  Still drinking nightly, still not exercising, working mildy on my soul with readings and my 12 step workbook.

WHY is this important?  Because when you kill the momentum with a relapse it is HARD to get back on track, beyond hard.  It can make you do crazy things.

Like… here is something crazy stupid.  Two days ago I woke up with a new resolve to STOP the drinking.  I had a full box and a box 1/4 full of wine in the garage.  I could throw away the 1/4 box but didn’t want to WASTE the full box.  So — what did I do?  I gave it away on my local Buy Nothing Facebook group.  I did not want to throw away a whole unopened box and thought that a normal drinker may enjoy it…

The Buy Nothing site requires you to creatively gift items and not just give to the first person who responds.  So I had people comment with a number and the number closest to mine by 5pm won.  I felt slightly guilty for giving away something that I know is an awful toxin- but was hoping that a normal drinker would win it and truly enjoy it– not all one sitting.

The girl who won was ecstatic!  She had just bought a camper and had a girl’s weekend scheduled and said it would be the perfect addition.  I felt so good about it!  She asked to pick it up the next day.

That night the wine witch started screaming at me and I still had all that wine in the garage.  I should have dumped out the 1/4 box I had left but I didn’t.  I decided that I would drink that and then stop (that’s funny).

Well I bet you could guess what I did next.  I opened that box that was meant for the winner of my contest.  WHO does that?   The entire time I was thinking about it and then opening the box, all I could think is how INSANE the whole situation is.   Insanity is another name for my addiction.

I try to learn from each relapse and setback.  I don’t think I ever wrote about the details that ultimately lead to my decision to open that first bottle.

My nephew was staying with us for the week before Boy Scout camp and the scene around our house was typically chaotic.  I was scheduled to go to scout camp and then up to Tawas immediately after for a girl’s weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday.  I was excited for the girl’s weekend and hubby kept remarking the week before that after having my nephew for so long and Boy Scout camp that it was a well deserved weekend of fun.  I was pumped!

Two nights before the girl’s weekend, while I was at camp, BAD things were happening.

At camp it was an ice cream social followed by a dance party.  My nephew (who is a part of the troop and who I was responsible for) kept disappearing and I learned that he was wanting to start a fight with another boy on the dance floor.  My own kid is very docile, I’m not used to dealing with this type of situation.  It was a highly stressful night– no fights ensued but I was on edge the whole time.

After the dance party we all got ready and went to bed.  As another parent said goodnight to the boys, we learned that my nephew was not in his tent.  It wasn’t a huge deal, he was sitting with the other troop that we shared the site with at the fire– but again, he was supposed to tell someone where he is at all times.  I had to have another stern talking to him and deal with some disrespectful actions.

As I laid in my cot my frustration grew.  I was annoyed with the disrespect that my nephew showed me and that I couldn’t enjoy myself because of the added stress.  I was also annoyed with my body.  I have rheumatoid arthritis and had been doing great (which I attributed to 100 days clean of alcohol) but my body was beginning to deceive me.  My shoulder and foot had progressively gotten worse throughout the week and were now throbbing as I sat in my annoyance.  WHY? I thought, WHY now, WHY here?

I wasn’t close to being ready for sleep so I reached out to my sister and let her know that I was SO excited for her birthday weekend.  Her text back let me know that there has been a change of plans.

Her daughter, who had just found out that she is pregnant, had most likely lost her baby.  My niece was beside herself with grief so my sister cancelled the girl’s weekend and arranged for us all to be at the cottage together to help console my niece.

While it made me sad and anxious, I knew that there was nothing I could do about it and accepted it.  As it turns out, by the way, she found out a couple weeks later that the baby was fine, but we had no idea of knowing that at the time.

I then texted my hubby, as we normally chatted before bed.  I didn’t like hearing what he had to say.

He had some news also.  His sister lost her kids for at least 12 months.  One of her kids is my nephew who was at camp with me.  My hubby had to get interviewed by CPS to let them know where he was at.  We were just so relieved that CPS didn’t come to camp to question my nephew.  I was so sad for him knowing that his life was about to change and he had no idea.

All this SHIT— WTF?????

I don’t know if it was that night, or the next day, but I made the conscious decision that after camp, when I got to the cottage, I was drinking.  My sisters weren’t too happy to hear (even though they are drinkers–they know my struggles and my journey).  I was completely ok with it– or so I said.  “People are losing their kids!” I shouted.  “I’m not going to stress over a few drinks!”

I knew it wouldn’t be a one night thing.  Hubby’s vacation was the following week and I thought, well I blew it– might as well drink on vacation too (because who doesn’t love hangovers, headaches, anxiety and the shakes when you are on vacation).   I thought after his week off I could focus on my sobriety.

And here we are, 2 weeks after his vacation and I’m still in this cycle.  I don’t even want to quit today.  I DO want to quit sometime soon.  Just not today.  Maybe I won’t be able to this time.  Maybe it’ll turn into day drinking and waking up with the shakes.  Maybe my liver will fail and I will die a slow and painful death eating my words about just a couple of drinks.

To my family, I am sorry.  I am doing the best that I can.

To anyone who is reading this, if you have clean time cherish the heck out of it.  If it’s 1 day, or 10 or 100– cherish every single day.  And if you are thinking you might relapse, think about how hard the first few days were.  The first few days are always the hardest and will always be so hard regardless of how much sobriety you have.  Folks, people relapse after years of sobriety and die from it.  This is real.

Don’t let an event– or series of events out of your control make you think that you have the right to give in.  That is your addiction taking advantage of you– and he/she will!  I’m quite certain that with every piece of bad news I received, Betsy was doing a happy dance in my head.

The only thing that I can promise is that I will always be open and honest about my journey, no matter how ugly the truth is.

I do have hope that better days are ahead.

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